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Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am sure the carbon tax will be included in the discussion but that is not the catalyst to it. The driver behind the discussion and what is causing the need for it is an acceptance that for us to meet our targets from a climate point of view, agriculture has to play a big role in that. I have an absolute appreciation of the many challenges many people in agriculture are facing because of...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputies for their remarks. I agree with them that the haulage sector and the ability to move goods are integral to how our economy functions. It is in recognition of this that I announced in my budget speech that the diesel debate scheme was being enhanced. The marginal repayment rate will increase from 30% to 60% when the retail price is over €1.07, exclusive of VAT,...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I extended the release to the end of 2020 to continue to support the transition to a cleaner national fleet of passenger cars. This is in line with the broader Government policy to reduce emissions from the transport sector and meet our carbon reduction targets. I am introducing CO2 ceilings to the reliefs to ensure that only low-emission vehicles will benefit from the tax incentives....

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: As the Deputy outlined, it is likely there could be a change to price points, at least, due to the change I am making. We are making the change, however, because reliefs were in place for vehicles with a level of CO2 emissions we now know to be damaging to the environment. I flagged on a number of occasions that the change was coming. The Deputy's point is fair, that if it had been...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: We estimated that if we had left the relief unchanged and as it was, the cost would have been approximately €30 million.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The Deputy wants a note on section 46.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: For the purposes of vehicle registration tax, an ambulance is defined in section 130 of the Finance Act 1992. It is the EU definition of an ambulance under the European vehicle-type approval standards. Any vehicle which meets that definition, irrespective of whether it is used on or off road, is characterised as being in VRT category D, which means it is exempt from VRT at registration....

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: No.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: We covered some of this earlier but I appreciate that the Deputy raising it again. I will just make a few points in response. The change we made to the diesel rebate scheme provides insulation for the haulage sector on foot of the change we have made to carbon pricing. That in itself is the subject of criticism because many claim the haulage sector contributes to carbon emissions. It is...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I would not suggest for a moment that the haulage industry is causing havoc and I am aware of the technological changes in respect of the engines the sector uses. I am also aware that they are expensive to purchase and that it is expensive to move a fleet of trucks to more environmentally-friendly engines. We have changed the diesel rebate scheme to offer a degree of support to the haulage...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I will.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: The 140 g/km and the 156 g/km correspond to the thresholds for VRT.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: They are the different thresholds for CO2 emissions at which the different VRT thresholds kick in. A higher level of VRT is paid at the higher figure.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: There is no such requirement but it is the way we have done it over time.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: Yes. The Deputy's amendments are relevant to section 54. This section amends Schedule 3 of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010 to provide that food supplements are subject to VAT at the reduced rate of 13.5% from 1 January 2020. This amendment is being made to clarify the position regarding the VAT rating of food supplements. Under the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act 2010, food...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: Does the Chairman want me to deal with Deputies Doherty and McGrath now?

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: If I leave things as they are, the rate for products that are currently zero-rated will increase to 23% on 1 January next. As a matter of principle, I do not believe I should allow the courts to determine what the correct policy is. I could concede that principle in this case, but I do not know what the outcome of the legal hearing will be and I do not know how long the legal process will...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I thank the Deputies. I will comment on what Deputies Mattie McGrath and Burton have said. They spoke about the benefit of the supplements and the value they have to a number of our citizens. I understand this entirely and I have heard it on many occasions. I am also aware from my constituency of the wellness benefit of these products and the effect they can have on the living standards...

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: It is not food. I hope this conversation could be anchored in the fact that we are having a very different discussion to what we could have been having one year ago, when everything was due to move to 23%. There are strong views available to me suggesting that because this is not food, it is appropriate for the rate to be 23%. I am not taking that course of action.

Select Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach: Finance Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) (6 Nov 2019)

Paschal Donohoe: I am glad to be in a position to be able to clarify the matter. The 2007 document to which Deputy McGrath refers was an internal Revenue document prepared in 2007. It was never published on the Revenue website. The document has no legal status or authority over VAT legislation in place on 1 January 1991 or subsequently. The document was simply an attempt to document the position that was...

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